“Schadenfreude” is a German word for the “pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others.” Psychologists believe that this sentiment has a correlation with envy and low selfesteem. However, I have a feeling, that virtually no one is immune from occasional bouts of schadenfreude. Maybe this explains why the daily news tends to be pessimistic. Perhaps we are only being served the madness and mayhem that our psyches crave.
The perception that there is too much “bad news” is a complaint often made by people who read, listen and watch a fair amount of it. It's depressing, but they can't turn away. I've gone off on a news bender a time or two and know the feeling. Digesting too much news is like chewing bubble gum way after the flavor is gone. It just makes your jaw sore.
A study done last year at Canada's McGill University demonstrated that most people, even those who claim to prefer positive news, tend to seek out the negative. Participants at computer terminals were told that they were part of "a study of eye tracking," when actually it was articles they chose that were being tracked. (Doesn't everybody know by now that studies like these are a ruse in order to test something else?) The majority of the stories read by those tested were on the dark side of the news spectrum.